Campus Connection: Tidbits and Humor – WVU Athletics

One day earlier this summer I watched in amazement as a former football coach got up on the grease board in my office and drew up the defense that he once used to stop a specific football play.

The more he went through the play and all of the possible scenarios involved with it the more I thought I was watching Einstein draw up the formula for time travel.

I thought to myself, I’m in my upper mid-40s, I once played the game (albeit at a low level and not very well), I’ve been around COLLEGEfootball for the last 25 years or so and I spent some time with some really good football coaches, and although I do work in mostly small round numbers, I can hold a fairly intelligent conversation on a lot of different topics. But what I saw going up on that grease board was done in a language that I had never seen before. And while I was struggling to figure out what he was attempting to draw, I began to wonder how some 18, 19 or 20-year-old kid with ADHD would receive this?

If you’ve got a few minutes, or a few hours, just listen to Mountaineer Sports NETWORK from IMG football analyst Jed Drenning talk about the Zone Read play some time. He can describe that play until your fillings hurt, which begs the question: Is the game getting too complicated?

via Campus Connection: Tidbits and Humor – WVU Athletics.

No. 10 Women’s Soccer Drops Opener – WVU Athletics

Three first-half goals proved to be too much for the No. 10-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team, as the Mountaineers fell 3-1 to No. 11 Penn State in their 2014 season opener tonight, at Jeffrey Field, in WVU’s first of two matches at the Penn State Invitational.

The loss drops the Mountaineers to 8-9-2 in all-time season openers. Tonight was the third time the two teams have met in an opener since 2010, and the Nittany Lions now own a 6-5-1 edge in the all-time series.

“This was a team of two halves tonight,” said Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “We looked completely different in the second half. We finally put it together, but we ran out of time, and you can’t do that against a team like Penn State.”

via No. 10 Women's Soccer Drops Opener – WVU Athletics.

WV MetroNews – Gibson, like most of college football, wonders how Kiffin will attack

During a lengthy chat with reporters after a lengthy end-of-camp scrimmage, Tony Gibson was asked about matching up against Lane Kiffin.

“Who?” he joked.

West Virginia’s first-time defensive COORDINATOR fully comprehends he’s nowhere near recognizable as The Lane Train. Gibson hasn’t head coached the OAKLAND RAIDERS, Tennessee Vols and USC Trojans—and then again, neither has he been canned by Al Davis, panned in Knoxville or asked to step off the bus by Pat Haden.

So unlike Kiffin being hired at Alabama, Gibson wasn’t featured on SportsCenter upon becoming WVU’s coordinator. And such relative anonymity doesn’t RATTLE Gibson one bit. He’d much rather his defense make SportsCenter by slowing down the Crimson Tide on Aug. 30.

via WV MetroNews – Gibson, like most of college football, wonders how Kiffin will attack.

WV MetroNews – As a kid who grew up at WVU, Trickett understands Mountaineers’ impact

What stung Clint Trickett worse than even a pulverized throwing shoulder was the agony of losing.

He was back in Morgantown and back on the West Virginia campus where he spent his adolescence as a coach’s son. Comforted by a familiar past and presented with an opportunistic future, he hoped to begin Chapter 2 of his college career by making the Mountaineers winners.

But 4-8 wasn’t that.

It wasn’t something West Virginia fans or their quarterback could stomach. After all, the PROGRAM hadn’t endured a losing record since 2001, when Trickett’s dad Rick first joined Rich Rodriguez’s staff. That 3-8 season, which proved an anomaly after WVU bounced back for three top-10 finishes under Rich Rod, orientated the young Trickett to the impact of the Mountaineers on this state.

via WV MetroNews – As a kid who grew up at WVU, Trickett understands Mountaineers’ impact.

Charleston Daily Mail | Chuck McGill: WVU smart to let Joseph play his style, but limit wear and tear

Karl Joseph is a bandit now, and he’s not going to keep his hits holstered.

The 6-foot-1, 196-pound junior football player at West Virginia University is the team’s hardest, most devastating hitter. Throw his name in the YouTube search bar and look at the highlights from his first two collegiate seasons.

“He’s a train wreck, man,” WVU safeties coach Joe DeForest said of Joseph. “If it’s moving, he’s going to hit it … and he’s going to hit it hard.”

Obviously, Joseph seeks out the collisions, but that is only one concern as he transitions to a more physically demanding position. Joseph simply refuses to leave the field. He might just miss out on one of those bone-jarring, fumble-causing, pain-inducing hits.

“I try to play as much as I can, even through the nicks and bruises,” Joseph said. “I try to be tough and stick it out.”

via Charleston Daily Mail | Chuck McGill: WVU smart to let Joseph play his style, but limit wear and tear.

The Charleston Gazette | Mountaineers put focus on finishing

Last season, West Virginia’s football team held a lead in 10 of its 12 games.

The Mountaineers held fourth-quarter advantages in seven of those 12 games and were within one possession — six points once, two another — going into the fourth quarter of two others.

Even discounting a complete and inexplicable flop at Kansas, in which WVU was never in contention during an otherwise easily winnable game, that’s nine of 12 games in which it seemed Dana Holgorsen’s team had not only a CHANCE TO WIN, but a great chance.

And yet the Mountaineers won just four of them.

Suffice it to say, finishing what it starts is being talked about a lot as West Virginia heads into a 2014 season that begins in eight days in Atlanta against No. 2 Alabama. Among the myriad slogans that appear on wristbands, hats and locker ROOM WALLS in every college football program, the ones that probably get to the point most efficiently at West Virginia are the T-shirts that say just that.

“FINISH.”

via The Charleston Gazette | Mountaineers put focus on finishing.

Mountaineer Insider Podcast – WVU Athletics

This week's inside look at Mountaineer sports includes an exclusive interviews with WVU Director of Athletics Oliver Luck, KJ Dillon, Alabama beat writer Aaron Suttles from the Tuscaloosa News and special commentary from Jeff Culhane. You can also DOWNLOAD today's podcast on iTunes.

via Mountaineer Insider Podcast – WVU Athletics.

New Ballpark Construction Update – WVU Athletics

If you have been to the site of the new WVU baseball ballpark recently, you noticed how quickly it has taken shape.

Following the completion of concrete footers in the concourse area, construction crews have begun to insert steel supports for the press box and suite levels.

The initial phases of construction for the Mountaineers clubhouse and office areas are underway along the right field line. The bottom floor of that structure will be cement, while the second floor will feature steel supports.

In front of the steel frame is where the foundation will be laid for the dugouts and the backstop.

via New Ballpark Construction Update – WVU Athletics.

WVU Women’s Soccer Setting Gold Standard in Mountaineer Athletic – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports

Division-I collegiate athletic departments are judged solely by the success of each and every PROGRAM within its respective institution. Football and men's basketball may dominate the headlines and revenue, but believe or not, all of the other sports do matter.

West Virginia University is just like any other D-I PROGRAM in America. Football and men's basketball reign supreme in Morgantown.

But throughout the last decade and a half, a pair of athletic programs has continued to consistently perform at a higher level than any other at WVU: Women's Soccer and Rifle.

via WVU Women’s Soccer Setting Gold Standard in Mountaineer Athletic – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WV MetroNews – Angus expects to enroll Friday, gives WVU 18 of 21 signees aboard

Philadelphia lineman Dontae Angus, a signing day surprise for West Virginia last February, has received NCAA clearance and is expected to be in classes Friday, said a PROGRAM spokesman.

The arrival of the 6-foot-6, 330-pound Angus means 18 of 21 signees are now on campus. The exceptions are receiver Jacob McCrary (who enrolled this week at Northwest Mississippi COMMUNITY COLLEGE) offensive lineman Justin Scott (who has yet to complete junior college coursework) and linebacker Davonte James (who left the program after spring semester).

“Angus continues the trend of WVU commitments that fit the mold for playing nasty,” said Rivals writer Keenan Cummings of WVSports.com. “He is just a monster rolled inside of a NFL-sized left tackle. And he has the athleticism to play defensive line as well.

via WV MetroNews – Angus expects to enroll Friday, gives WVU 18 of 21 signees aboard.

Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Assistant coach Bradley gets comfortable in new role

On the outside, Tom Bradley looked lost. He was trying to find his way around the Puskar Center, his new football home at West Virginia UNIVERSITY after 37 seasons at Penn State and then two years in the media.

He was wandering without DIRECTION until he’d stop to ask someone for some help.

Even that didn’t work.

“I was always going the wrong way,” Bradley said.

On the inside, though, the longtime assistant coach for the Nittany Lions and now the senior associate head coach with the Mountaineers was relieved. He knew he was being welcomed into a new football family.

“The players were playing games with me and sending me the wrong way,” he said. “Now I’m onto them and what they’re doing.”

Fake help was still help because this has not been easy for Bradley, and won’t pretend it didn’t challenge his emotions or test what he’d come to know in his COLLEGEfootball life spent exclusively at Penn State.

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Assistant coach Bradley gets comfortable in new role.

The Charleston Gazette | WVU’s Holgorsen keeps Alabama’s strength in perspective

From Tony Gibson’s vantage point, preparing for Alabama in 10 more days presents all sorts of challenges, not the least of which is simply figuring out what THE TIDE offense will look like.

“Yeah, a lot of it is guesswork,’’ West Virginia’s defensive COORDINATOR said of a team with a new (and as yet unknown) quarterback, a new offensive COORDINATOR (Lane Kiffin) and perhaps a mindset to shake things up a bit. “We have to be prepared for a lot of different scenarios.’’

For Shannon Dawson, the X’s and O’s probably aren’t that mystifying, but the challenge is no less daunting.

“It’s not like they’re going to throw a bunch of stuff at us that we’ve never seen,’’ WVU’s offensive coordinator said. “You just have to make plays against them and that’s hard because everything they do, they do well.’’

And then there’s Dana Holgorsen. It’s his job to be the voice of reason and, yes, even optimism. And that means putting Alabama in perspective.

“Don’t forget,’’ the Mountaineer’ fourth-year head coach said, “we play a lot of good teams in the Big 12.’’

via The Charleston Gazette | WVU’s Holgorsen keeps Alabama’s strength in perspective.

The Charleston Gazette | Mitch Vingle: WVU, TCU might be Big 12 surprises

When I CHECKED out the Big 12 preseason poll, something tugged at me.

I didn’t know what until Tuesday.

That’s when I really took time to break down the league’s upcoming season.

I saw teams that are overrated. I saw teams that are underrated. And the latter category just might include West Virginia.

Here’s my simple theory: (Follow closely.) Better teams have better players. And the best teams have the most experienced upper-tier players. (Did I lose you?)

I researched which upperclassmen on Big 12 teams were considered among THE TOP 20 nationally at their position in the eyes of NFL scouts. (NFL DRAFT Scout was most helpful.)

I added the number of 2015 and 2016 prospects together to reach a total.

via The Charleston Gazette | Mitch Vingle: WVU, TCU might be Big 12 surprises.

Key Position Battles Present Big Decisions for WVU Coaching Staff

This is the time of the year where COLLEGE football coaching staffs across the country are feeling the pressure to make key decisions that will ultimately impact the direction of the program.

Dana Holgorsen and the West Virginia Mountaineers are no different. Thus far, Holgorsen has been COMPLETELY honest with the media in terms of the important battles that are ongoing with each position on the team.

Now less than two weeks away from the season OPENER against Alabama, Holgorsen appears to have a handful of decisions to make – decisions that will help decide which players will earn the STARTING nod on August 30 in Atlanta.

Safety, cornerback, linebacker, defensive line, wide receiver and running back – Six POSITIONS REMAIN up for grabs as of Tuesday, August 19.

via Key Position Battles Present Big Decisions for WVU Coaching Staf – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WV MetroNews – Hurting no more, Chestnut hopes to turn corner on injury-riddled career

For illustration of Terrell Chestnut’s never-back-down philosophy, rewind to his sophomore season at Pottsgrove HIGH SCHOOL, to a teammate’s interception, and to the runback that ensued.

“I was being dumb,” Chestnut recalled. “I felt like I was big and bad, so I went to block the biggest lineman and he ran me over.”

That’s when Chestnut believes he initially weakened his shoulder, the one he finally dislocated as A SENIOR resulting in a torn labrum. The same labrum he tore again during his freshman camp at West Virginia, leading to a redshirt season.

It wasn’t the last or the worst of Chestnut’s injuries. That distinction occurred in the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl—a spiritless night for the WVU football program and a debilitating one for the cornerback whose third career start ended in the first quarter with a torn ACL.

via WV MetroNews – Hurting no more, Chestnut hopes to turn corner on injury-riddled career.

The Charleston Gazette | Questions loom as WVU camp ends

West Virginia finished 17 days of preseason camp Saturday with a depth chart beginning to take a more concrete shape, but still with plenty of unanswered questions about every facet of its team — offense, defense and specialists.

In truth, Saturday’s camp-ending scrimmage perhaps raised more questions than it answered. For instance:

n The No. 1 defense bent but didn’t break. But that bending was a concern.

“They buckled down in the red zone,’’ first-year defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said. “That was good to see, but we’re certainly not there yet.’’

n The first-team offense moved the ball well at times, but couldn’t score. In five possessions during a 50-minute period of the scrimmage open to the media, the No. 1 offense had five positions from a variety of field positions and couldn’t score. Twice the offense either ran out of downs or time, once quarterback Clint Trickett was intercepted by K.J. Dillon and two drives ended with field goal attempts.

Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson didn’t seem particularly concerned, however.

via The Charleston Gazette | Questions loom as WVU camp ends.

The Charleston Gazette | Mitch Vingle: WVU coaches making DL moves in search of pass rush

If you want to know what WVU’s defense most needs to improve on this season, insert Jon Gruden voice here for effect.

It needs a pass rush, man.

It’s nothing new. Not since 2011, when the Mountaineers finished 29th nationally, averaging 2.31 sacks per game, has the team had a respectable pass rush.

West Virginia’s change in conferences didn’t help in that respect. But since that 10-3 2011 season, WVU has fallen to 75th nationally in sacks in 2012 and 107th last season. The records, as fans know all too well, have fallen as well.

This year, Mountaineer coach Dana Holgorsen seems to like his defensive depth, which includes that of the line. Yet it bears watching to see if that line can give WVU — and, by extension, its fans — a rush.

As recently as Friday, nose tackle Kyle Rose was anything but encouraged by his side of the ball.

via The Charleston Gazette | Mitch Vingle: WVU coaches making DL moves in search of pass rush.

Mountaineers Conclude Camp – WVU Athletics

West Virginia concluded preseason camp with an officiated scrimmage inside Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Media members were allowed to observe the final hour of the scrimmage from the club area underneath the video board, but were not permitted to tweet or post a live account of the action.

Overall, both offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson and defensive coordinator Tony Gibson saw what they needed to see as they begin preparation for the season opener against second-ranked Alabama two weeks from today in Atlanta.

“The main focus today was trying to figure out who the number twos were,” noted Dawson.

via Mountaineers Conclude Camp – WVU Athletics.

Assistant Coaches Press Conference – WVU Athletics

Select members of the West Virginia University football coaching staff met with the media on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, at the Milan Puskar Center Team Room.

via Assistant Coaches Press Conference – WVU Athletics.

WATCH: The Dana Holgorsen Show

In case you missed it on television, be sure to watch this week's episode of The Dana Holgorsen Show, in its entirety, on WVi.

via WATCH: The Dana Holgorsen Show – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.